December 16, 2004 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Las Vegas 51s
LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas 51s professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), Triple-A affiliate of the 2004 National League West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers, announced today that former Dodger Jerry Royster was named the new manager for the 2005 season. He is the 17th manager in the history of the Las Vegas franchise (1983 - present).
The 51s coaching staff will be comprised of all former Dodgers. Mariano Duncan will be the hitting instructor and Roger McDowell returns for his second season as the pitching coach, according to Terry Collins, Director of Player Development. Duncan was the hitting coach at Double-A Jacksonville last season and played for the Dodgers from 1985-87, 89 and McDowell from 1991-94. Jason Mahnke returns as trainer and Demathdian Tate as strength coach.
Royster is returning to the Silver State as manager of the Triple-A team. He managed the Las Vegas Stars, then the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, from 1996-98 and led his teams to a 199-224 record (.470). He has the longest running tenure (three seasons) of any manager in Las Vegas franchise history. His best season was in 1996 with the team advancing to the PCL Playoffs with a 73-67 record (.521).
"The Dodgers asked me to manage in Las Vegas and I'm really looking forward to it," Royster said. "This is where my career thrived as a manager in the minor leagues."
The 2005 season marks Royster's ninth as a minor league skipper. His career minor league managerial record is 484-487 (.498), including a 217-189 (.534) mark with Dodger farm clubs. In his initial season as a skipper, he guided the Gulf Coast League Kissimmee Dodgers to a 40-23 record and a Northern Division championship in 1989. He moved up to Single-A Yakima in 1990 and then enjoyed his best season as a field general in 1991, when he led Single-A Vero Beach to a 79-52 mark and a first half division title. He managed the 1992 season at Double-A San Antonio.
He then went on to the Major Leagues to become third base coach for the Colorado Rockies in their inaugural 1993 season. He later returned to the Major Leagues and served as the bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers under manager Davey Lopes from 2000 until taking over as the interim manager from April 18, 2002 through the end of the season. In 1999, Royster was base running/infield coordinator in the Montreal Expos system.
He returned to the Dodger organization in 2003 as the organization's infield coordinator, a position he also held last season.
"Jerry is one of my best friends in baseball and I know he will do a great job," 51s President and General Manager Don Logan said. "He is a great ambassador for the game and we couldn't have a better guy to represent not only our organization but the community."
Royster enjoyed a solid and long career in the Major Leagues over 16 seasons. The right-handed hitting infielder played in 1,423 Major League contests for five different clubs, including the Dodgers (1973-75), Atlanta Braves (1976-84, 88), San Diego Padres (1985-86), New York Yankees (1987) and Chicago White Sox (1987). A member of the Braves' 1982 National League Western Division championship team, Royster's best big league campaign came in 1979, when he appeared in 154 games for Atlanta and hit .273 with 25 doubles, 51 RBI, 103 runs scored and 35 stolen bases. He swiped 22 or more bases for five consecutive seasons from 1976-80.
The 51s open the 2005 PCL season (23RD overall in Las Vegas) on Thursday, April 7 at Colorado Springs. The home opener is Friday, April 15, against Colorado Springs, at 7:05 p.m. at Cashman Field. Season tickets and mini-plan packages (10, 20, 33-game plans) are available by calling the 51s office at 798-7825 or log on to the team's website.
Official licensed team merchandise is still available by calling (702) 386-8884 or on the team's website.